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Fear vs. Awe - Quote from Abraham Heschel

Fear vs. Awe – Quote from Abraham Heschel

Recently I posted an article called, “Does God Want Us to Fear Him?” It was about the fact that the Hebrew word that we translate as “fear,” also means “awe” and “reverence.” Just now I picked up Rabbi Abraham Heschel’s classic book God in Search of Man and read a magnificent quote from him on […]

Does God Want Us to Fear Him?

Does God Want Us to Fear Him?

The word “fear” is common in the Old Testament, and to many it sounds like we should cringe in dread of God’s presence. We also find “fear” in the New Testament too. Why is there so much fear in the Bible?

Rabbinic Wisdom for Christmas Consumerism

Rabbinic Wisdom for Christmas Consumerism

Right now many of us are doing our Christmas shopping, and it is easy to focus on new things we wish we could have. We live in a consumer culture that revolves around having more “stuff.” Our status is based on money, and we are expected to dedicate all our time to achieving financial success. […]

Jesus' Jewish Logic: Measure for Measure

Jesus’ Jewish Logic: Measure for Measure

With the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Matt 7:2 . In Jesus’ words above about the “measure you use,” he was using a classic rabbinic idea called midah keneged midah (mee-dah kah-NEG-ed mee-dah), which means, literally, “measure corresponding to measure.” Paul also used this style of reasoning. Knowing more about the […]

A Parable for Your New Year's Resolutions

A Parable for Your New Year’s Resolutions

We’re only a few days into 2013, and the year is still squeaky clean. A lot of us are going strong on our New Year’s resolutions. We’re full of fresh determination to be more thrifty, organized, slim and buff. In about a month or so, the glow will fade. You’ll realize that change is harder […]

Can We Use Jewish Sources to Study Jesus?

Can We Use Jewish Sources to Study Jesus?

How much can we really learn about the Jewishness of Jesus from Jewish sources? That’s a pretty fundamental question, since the goal of this website is to understand the Jewish background of Christianity. I’ve found some pretty important news about it, and wanted to share it here. A common approach to studying Jesus is to […]

Taking My Thumb Off the Scale

Taking My Thumb Off the Scale

[An excerpt from Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus (Zondervan, 2012)] My keys clattered onto the countertop, a relieved sigh escaping from my lips as I slipped off my Sunday coat. The morning had been filled with small irritations: the coffee I splattered on my new sweater, the nosy prayer chain coordinator who grilled […]

Covered in the Dust of Your Rabbi: An Urban Legend?

Covered in the Dust of Your Rabbi: An Urban Legend?

Some months ago, pastor-blogger Trevin Wax posted an article called “Urban Legends: The Preacher’s Edition.” There he lists several “urban legends” that he’s heard floating around lately in sermons. Like Internet rumors that people forward on ad infinitum, these preaching illustrations don’t have much grounding in fact. One potential fallacy on his list caught my […]

Pluck out your eye? Putting it in Context

Pluck out your eye? Putting it in Context

If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell. Matthew 18:9 Some of the sayings of Jesus are so strong that we wonder if Jesus really […]